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The End of the Chatterbox Challenge

Entrants to this year’s Chatterbox Challenge have received this email. I hope Wendell doesn’t mind me sharing it here:


I have decided after 12 years to end the CBC. I think the contest has become a bit stale and needs a new life and a new direction. I’m hoping another contest will appear and perhaps take it’s place. I do think it’s been a good alternative to the Loebner Contest allowing virtually anyone to enter with minimal entry restrictions.
If any individual or group has an interest in starting a new contest Peter Cole, the sponsor of the 2011 and 2012 CBC, maybe interested in being the sponsor.

Thanks for all the support over the years.

Wendell Cowart



  [ # 1 ]

Very sad.


  [ # 2 ]

That’s a shame. Especially since, if these boards are any indication, momentum seems to be picking up in the area of chatbot development. Maybe the pace of development would be more pronounced if the contest were only held every other year? Or every four years, Olympics style. raspberry


  [ # 3 ]

I just got contacted by a reporter for a newspaper, (as in printed on paper, not online,  newspaper) asking me to send photos and answer some questions about VIRA, ...  Details, references, etc… As they emerge.


  [ # 4 ]

After being involved in this area since 2005, this year I finally decided to enter this contest. I was very happy with the results of my Susan and I was already planning enhancements for the 2013 session, when I received this mail.

I hope that some other contest will take place next year.
What about the “First Challenge” ? 


  [ # 5 ]

I hope it does continue. It’s fun, easy to participate in and encourages the improvement of chatbots.


  [ # 6 ]

While I can’t devote a lot of time to a contest of this nature and scope, I’m certain that I’m not the only one in the community that would be willing to put in some time and effort to make sure that the Chatterbox Challenge continues. If you have even as little as two hours or so per month to assist, please email me, and we’ll discuss possibilities. I dearly wish to see the CBC continue, but I can’t do it alone.


  [ # 7 ]

At least Wendell gave The Chatterbox Challenge the best possible chance of continuing by announcing so early.  Not a moment wasted. I think Dave Morton has earned the right to the recognition that comes with running the CBC.  Dave is a true leader in our community, who serves all of us very well.


  [ # 8 ]

Thanks, 8pla. I’m still weighing options, and waiting to see what sort of community interest there is in continuing the CBC. I’m also considering the possibility of creating an entirely new competition, with a new perspective, among other possibilities.


  [ # 9 ]

It’s sad news indeed. Now there was finally a sponsor, a pity to hear that CBC (seems to) stops anyway.

Vittorio Rossi - Mar 21, 2012:

I hope that some other contest will take place next year.
What about the “First Challenge” ?

I’d be happy to host the Chatterbox Challenge website on our VPS for anyone willing to organize the contest itself.


  [ # 10 ]

Actually, Erwin, I’m still composing an email to you, to discuss just that. smile

I’ve earlier in this thread, put out a request for interested parties to email me about either continuing the CBC (which, after a discussion with Wendell, isn’t going to happen, and I’ll get into in a new thread) or forming a new contest to “replace” it. In all honesty, I’m amazed and overjoyed by the responses I’ve received, and look forward to working with everyone to organize a new competition that carries out the best traditions of the CBC, and yet has a new perspective and focus.

Watch for a new thread about this very shortly! cheese


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